For folks who don’t know much about how NRA works internally, I can probably explain this Politics Daily article, and also what’s appearing over at Bucks Right. NRA’s internal board rules (which are set by the Board itself, as an elected body) prevent Board members from speaking on behalf of the organization. This is longstanding practice by the Board, and not something new. This rule exists because everyone recognizes that NRA must be able to speak with a single voice on issues. NRA would not be able to function if each individual Board member could speak out on positions on behalf of the organization as a whole. One can imagine what that would be like, if, say, Joaquin Jackson thought it was OK to speak on NRA’s behalf.
During the Sotomayor hearings, there was confusion among Senators about NRA’s position, despite efforts by Board members speaking out against Sotomayor that they spoke for themselves and not in any official capacity with NRA. I am not privy to what goes on in executive session during committee meetings, so I really don’t know what happened. I am sure, just like with any family dispute, there were issues and sore feelings over how the Sotomayor thing went down. But I am also sure there were no gag orders. The Board does not take orders from staff. Things just don’t work that way.